Right now a distinctly country song is on the radio (nothing like a little 96.5 to ease you into your slumber). I'm talking Tim McGraw, banner country music. And I didn't throw up. Correction: I didn't even gag.
I know this happens to people. One of my best friends, one of those friends I spent hours pouring over hip hop cds with, stunned me with a country song as her WEDDING SONG. She hadn't mentioned it to me, and for good reason, I think. And now I am one of them. Come on, you know it's a process. It starts with the Dixie Chicks. They come on, and you don't change the channel. Then you (read: I) suddenly know the words to "Wide Open Spaces", Cowboy Take Me Away, etcetera etcetera. Level three of this disease involves actually taking a moment to imagine what aformentioned "Cowboy" might look like. Then, before you know it, you are listening to "Live Like You Were Dying" and it's halfway through the song before you realize that you haven't been electrocuted by the need to change the station. The battle has been lost.
Once in awhile, I've wondered how different I would have turned out if I'd been born and raised in Iran. Today I brought it closer to what I could imagine- what if I'd been raised in LA? New York? Colorado?
It didn't take but a moment to know. Being born and raised in the 902xx zip code series would find me 20 pounds thinner and 20 IQ points shorter in any given conversation. I'd reward myself for philanthropic acts (like letting someone walk across the crosswalk before my shiny black Mercedes) with dainty gifts like Chanel glasses or an ugly white purse with random lettering that cost more than the money contained therein. I would NOT work. Let me reiterate that. I would NOT work. I'd donate all my time to AIDS Project Los Angeles, taking time for long lunches on Sunset (not matter where you raise me, I imagine I'd be a people watcher). In the grand tradition of LA, I'd have to find someone to use in a big bad way. Lemme think... I'd use Nicole Richie to get to her dad, and then I'd make him sing me "Easy" as my outgoing message, erupting in a fit of giggles at how inspired I am!!!! I'd also use exclamation points alot. I'd speak Persian with a Persian accent rather than the midwestern nightmare I currently garnish my sentences with. Hell, I'd probably pepper my *English* with a Persian accent I didn't have.
New York would have brought me in the other direction. My artistic aspirations would have been nurtured each and every time I inhaled the sweet urine-doused scent of the subway. I'd have a shaggy haircut (ok, I just threw that in there because I've always wanted one) and I'd wear ripped flourescent tights (I'd have my Desperately Seeking Susan renaissance whenever I damn well pleased, you see. Isn't that NY's motto? Do whatever the hell you want to do?). I would dance in the third row of a b-list dance company. I'd adopt a stage name like "Lillyphus" or something equally absurd. I would then take a permanent marker and write it on my shoes. And maybe my arm. I would have the nose piercing I always wanted, because I'd live somewhere where my parents couldn't argue the fact that "everyone else has one!". I'd probably look much older than I do, just by virtue of the fact that places stay open past 2am and I might take advantage of that. I wouldn't have a NY accent, though, because I'm running this scenario.
Colorado? I just got back. It's the most gorgeous place I've been in a long time. I really fell in love with it while I was there this past weekend, which struck up this whole train of thought. I had a hard time figuring out what the "Born in CO" scenario might have brought me. Right now, as Tim or Garth or whoever it was sang his heart out and I didn't cry out, curl into a ball and roll under my desk in a swift tornado-drill catlike reflex, I suddenly knew. No siree. If that had been the case, I would have been singing along (Love is in the Heir, anyone?). That, my friends, would not be pretty. I guess things happen the way they do for a reason. The birth certificate says "Evanston, IL". The mail I get says "San Diego, CA". And thankfully, *nothing* says "y'all".